On behalf of the National Coordinating Body (NCB), IUCN advertized a request for proposals (RFP) in several local and national newsletters as well as on our web site. We received 40 concept papers. A working group of NCB members reviewed 39 of the concept papers (one was received from Lao Cai which is a land-locked border province with Laos and therefore ineligible) and prepared a short list of 12. The full NCB then met and reduced the short list to seven.
The seven applicant organizations were invited to submit full proposals, and two staff from each organization attended a 2-day project cycle management (PCM) training course in Hanoi to help them prepare strong proposals. All seven full proposals were scored using an evaluation matrix prepared by the EU and a working group of NCB and IUCN staff then reviewed them. Of the seven, four were accepted for immediate funding and a decision on the fifth will depend on a site visit. The review process was characterized by a high degree of agreement among NCB members. Since this is Vietnam’s first round of SGF funding, the NCB decided to go for quality rather than quantity in terms of the number of proposals it funds.
The four confirmed proposals cover the following themes. A proposal from Xuan Thuy National Park in the Red River Delta will introduce a co-management agreement to legalize and regulate the harvest of clams and crabs from 1,000 hectares of mangroves that is currently an “open access” area. A proposal from Thanh Hoa Province in North-central Vietnam will promote mangrove conservation through an environmental education program targeting high schools. And two proposals from Thua-Thien-Hue and Quang Nam Provinces in Central Vietnam will strengthen community capacity and government relations to protect the last mangrove fragments in coastal lagoons. The MFF SGF Manager will work closely with all these projects to ensure effective implementation and the capture of lessons learned.